CapMetro secures $65.6 million in CIG funding from FTA for two BRT projects

March 13, 2023
The Expo Center BRT Line and Pleasant Valley BRT project are two of four MetroRapid lines CapMetro plans to build through Project Connect.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (CapMetro) in Austin, Texas, have signed grant agreements that will deliver a total of $65.6 million to two bus rapid transit (BRT) projects to better connect people living in one of America’s fastest growing metropolitan areas.

The two bus projects, Expo Center BRT Line and Pleasant Valley BRT project, are part of FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program. The CIG Program will grant $30.8 million to support the Expo Center BRT Line and $34.7 million to support the Pleasant Valley BRT project.

“A fast-growing metro area like Austin needs fast, frequent public transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris Administration is proud to help deliver the new Expo Center and Pleasant Valley bus rapid transit lines, which will give more Austin residents an affordable, sustainable and convenient way to get to jobs, schools and downtown destinations.”

Both BRT projects are part of Project Connect, CapMetro’s multi-year, multi-mode expansion plan that is supported by a voter-approved property tax. The two bus projects to secure CIG grants are part of four MetroRapid routes planned through Project Connect.

“We are pleased to support the Expo Center and Pleasant Valley BRT lines, which will improve travel times for many in the rapidly growing communities of east Austin,” said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez, who attended a grant-signing event in Austin on March 11. “Investing in more transit in Austin will help the city offer a diverse network of travel options that provides people with access to opportunities and transforms lives.”

The 12-mile Expo Line is designed to provide a one-seat ride between the Travis County Exposition Center and downtown Austin. It will have 44 stations and will connect customers to medical, educational, residential and commercial areas while broadening access to opportunities along the route. The estimated cost of the project is $48.5 million, and the Expo Line will include future connections to Orange, Blue, Red and Green rail lines.

The 15-mile, $57.2-million Pleasant Valley line will provide service to neighborhoods between Mueller and the Goodnight Ranch on Slaughter Lane. The 43-station route will provide service from northeast to southeast Austin, provide access to growth areas for new development and redevelopment and establish more frequent, high-quality transit service east of I-35. The Pleasant Valley line will include connections to the future rail network, with transfers to the Blue and Green Lines on the route.

Both BRT routes will be served by a new fleet of electric battery-powered buses that will feature USB charging ports, plug-in and overhead charging, open seating floor plan and digital displays. CapMetro awarded contracts in 2021 to Proterra and New Flyer of America to supply the agency with nearly 200 electric buses by 2026.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.